Alright, so as a kid I remember seeing the beginning of a film on TV, and it's been bugging me for more than a decade trying to figure out what it was.

I remember the first scene - it felt like late 70s - early 80s budget VFX - flat lighting, visible matte lines, maybe even still images of models animated.

It started with a dogfight. I remember an x-shaped ship. There was a cockpit or control room shot. Very claustrophobic, darkly lit with the glow off of computer screens being the most lighting.

That's about all I can remember. Had a name evocative of Dark Star I think, but it isn't Dark Star. It's not Star Wars either.


3 Answers 3


A possible answer, especially if the memories are a bit hazy, is The Last Starfighter. Released in 1984, so the graphics tie in with your recollection. The main ship is broadly x-shaped, although less obviously so than an X-wing.

I don't believe the opening scene is a dogfight, but the protagonist (Alex) playing the video game is an early scene, before he is recruited to the Star League to become a gunner in reality.

  • 1
    Such an excellent film! I hope this is correct
    – AncientSwordRage
    May 17, 2022 at 8:50
  • 1
    Nah, not The Last Starfighter either. That's why this is bugging me so much. I know sci fi. And I caaaaaaannot figure this one out. May 18, 2022 at 4:23

Might be B-movie producer Roger Corman's attempt to cash in on the first Star Wars wave of success. The Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). Written by John Sayles and Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami. There's a cockpit scene from the evil command ship at the start. The plot circles around a peasant boy from a peaceful planet that is under threat of invasion from the forces of an evil overlord. The boy takes his ship and goes off into space to find adventurers and experienced warriors to fight for his cause against the evil. There are plenty of spaceships, one of the smaller ones has an x-figure shape.

BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980) Official Trailer - YouTube


Could this be "Deep Red" (1994) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109589/ which (from memory) starts with a space battle from which an alien ship survives, crashes to Earth, and then ends up embedded in a child's hand? The rest of the movie is evilcorp trying to capture the child to harvest the life-extending alien nanotechnology.

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